Lindsey Vonn's injured shin is still hurting, but a few remedies have left it feeling good enough for the two-time World Cup skiing champion to make a scheduled training run Thursday, one day before the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Earlier this morning Vonn Tweeted:
So I took a bunch of pain killers and numbed my shin with some creams. Warmup was still very painful but I think it was good enough to give it a shot in the training run. Wish me luck!
Vonn's husband, Thomas, told the Los Angeles Times that his wife "looked OK" during a free ski early Thursday morning. He also mentioned that the "painkillers" in question were Tylenol (sounds like a missed marketing opportunity). I'm not saying he's telling a white lie, but if Vonn's injury was so bad that she went to "The Today Show" to tell the world about it, I'm doubting over-the-counter pain relievers are getting the job done. Plus, it wouldn't be good for America's sweetheart to be talking about pain meds.
Thomas says that any stronger medication would cloud Lindsey's judgment. That may be true on the course – I don't expect her to to take to the slopes doped up on Vicodin like she's House – but there's nothing wrong with using something stronger in the downtime.
Olympic doping regulations allow for athletes to take painkillers under medical supervision, but restrict the use of painkilling injections. Since both the pills and the shots would theoretically accomplish the same thing (relieving pain), it doesn't make much sense that one is allowed while the other is banned. Of course, expecting common sense from IOC doping regulations is just as silly.
Skiers must make at least one practice run in order to qualify for a specific event. Most of the women's practice runs were canceled Thursday, increasing the chance that Sunday's first Alpine skiing event, the super combined, will be postponed.
Thomas Vonn, for one, would welcome a delay, because it would give Lindsey more time to heal: "We've heard a lot about Whistler weather, and we welcome it at this point. It's probably not popular, but we welcome it."
Later in the afternoon, Lindsey posted a message about the injury on her Facebook page. The prognoisis has improved:
My shin was still very painful, but I feel like the injury is finally progressing a bit. The pain level has gone down from a sharp debilitating pain to something that I feel I may be able to grit my teeth through. So that really puts a smile on my face!
Like her husband, she also wrote that the extra day to heal was "definitely welcome."